Press briefing by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev at Bina Airport before his departure to the United Kingdom – February 22, 1994

Distinguished President, it is intended to sign a number of documents during your visit to the UK. You will also meet government officials and representatives of business circles of the UK. What kind of impact will the economic relations with the UK have on the Azerbaijani economy?

- First of all, the visit of the Azerbaijani President to the United Kingdom is aimed at the establishment and development of the Azerbaijani-British relations, because Azerbaijan could not establish interstate relations with such a prominent and great nation as the UK before, but now we have declared our independence and are able to do it. A UK ambassador was appointed in Azerbaijan a few months ago. Our ambassador has left for London just recently. It means, the diplomatic relations are being created. As for interstate relations, including political, economic, scientific, and cultural relations, Azerbaijan, as a young nation, needs them.

The United Kingdom is one of the most important nations of the world. It is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and one of the top seven developed countries of the world. Therefore, establishment of close relations between Azerbaijan and the UK is of great importance for our national interests. We are also aware that the UK is interested in and wants to create relations with Azerbaijan. In general, we are aware of Britain`s historical interest in the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan. Now, at the end of the 20th century, the United Kingdom is eager to establish a new kind of economic relations with Azerbaijan. Preliminary works have been done in this direction. Now it is high time to complete them.

I am going to pay a state visit to the United Kingdom, as I was invited by the British Prime Minister John Major. A few days ago I received a letter from him. In his letter, Mr. Major writes that he awaits our meeting and hopes this visit will have useful results for both the UK and Azerbaijan. Therefore, I attach great importance to this visit. So do the British authorities, I suppose. The schedule of the visit is already known. We shall negotiate with John Major and sign several treaties with him and other high officials. There will be meetings in the British parliament and governmental circles. Undoubtedly, these are important issues for our young state, its foreign policy and strengthening its position in the world and I am leaving for the United Kingdom to solve them.

Translated from \"Azerbaycan\", February 23, 1994